First please read Part Two.
Laura keeps asking questions. I keep trying to answer. Poor kid, but not really a kid any more. she grieves like a widow. 13. Only Romeo killed by the devil and Juliet left to mourn
Sounds outside the house, people out there laughing. Then...nothing. Mani said, no, but I went out to look. That big X on the house. The signature on our death warrants. I told Mani. He told the others. Don started singing:
We are the champions, my friend
and we'll keep on fighting till the end
We are the champions
we are the champions,
No time for losers, cause we are the champions
OF THE WORLD!!!
Mani: BOLE SO NIHAL
US: SAT SRI AKAAL....How many times, I don't know
Then Mohan jumped up and SCREAMED: STOP IT!! ARE YOU ALL INSANE? THEY'RE GOING TO KILL US!!
Mani grabbed him by the throat. 'We're not insane. We're Sikhs, Lions, What the hell are you!' And threw him on the ground.
That was when Sandeep said, 'They're really gonna kill us. Then me and Bilbar need to take Amrit.'
More later. I need to stop here. I still hear his voice. So determined and controlled. What could we ever have done to deserve such child?
And we'll go on
Cause we are the champions...(Choke)
Suni gets up and leaves when I talk to Laura. But she comes back. Her eyes are so deep in her head now, dark circles. Mine two. We both look like we've been dragged through hell by the hair. I guess we have. hahahahahahaha
She won't let go of Hope. I'm strong enough now to hold her. She likes me. I wish I could help Suni nurse her. Suni is so thin and drawn and I'm afraid her milk will dry up. But she forces herself to eat because of nursing the baby.
Every day Suni takes her over to the nihang. He smiles and touches her forehead with his kara.
Suni cries a lot. She tries not to cry, but she can't help it. I can't cry. I wish I could. Lilly is so quiet. I told her I cut that
fucking Hindu's throat and I enjoyed it. Good ol Lilly. She took my sword hand in both of hers and kissed it. Can a Jain kiss the hand of a killer? I mean, is she supposed to...Maybe they'd kick her out or something.
I asked her what she'da done. She shook her head and said, I don't know. I know what I should do, but I don't know, if someone killed one of my kids how I'd react. And Raj. But he'd kill, I know he would.
I don't like Raj. I will NEVER like that [religious slur and expletive deleted] kshatriya
[expletive deleted] . What Lilly sees in him...
MANI, COME BACK, PLEASE COME
BACK... I CAN'T EVEN
DREAM ABOUT YOU. I CAN'T CRY
[expletive deleted] WRONG WITH ME?
Labels: 13 December 1984
Poor, dear little Laura. Focus on the living. My would-have-been-daughter. Laura, dear, go back to Kansas. Forget about us. Forget your ever knew us. Go home and be a Kansas farmgirl. Find some nice Kansas farm boy to marry. Just go back to the way you were. She looks at me with those huge, blood-shot eyes.
'Mata Ji. I can't.' Then she quotes.'"A mind, once expanded, can never return to its original dimensions." I can't go back. I am what I am, I can't be what I was, or what I would have been.' Soft, soft voice. Old far beyond her years. How will she be scarred by all this?
It is easier to focus on her, get that image of Sandeep lying there with his head at that weird angle. But a peaceful face. That still strikes me, how peaceful the faces of our men were. Our dead men. Our new family shaheeds. Just what we need. More family shaheeds. Daddy used to tell stories about family shaheeds and the Moghuls. Did their survivors feel like I, we do? Too many questions. I look over toward the corner. The nihang is still there. He looks directly at me. His eyes are not hard, cold. They are warm, alive, compassionate, loving. Protective? When I hallucinate, I do it well. My diseased mind has created a suopernatural friend. Superman! It's a bird, it's a plane, no, it's Super Nihang! Fella, yeah, you, you with the blue chola and the sword and the turban, you. Can you fly? And take me with you?
I like having him here. Real or imagined. Sane or mad. I like having him here.
Daddy never talked about family nihangs, though. Maybe he's from another family? Or maybe I just like nihangs. I'll have to ask Suni about that. Right now, it's just me and Francois (asleep, of course) and the usual hospital crap.
Today finally, they let me take a shower. Not easy. I still can't walk because they had to fix my knee and it's not healing very well. That's funny. Alain picked me up and carried me into the shower. They sat me on a chair in there. The nurses got me out of that damned hospital gown and pulled my kechera down to my ankles. Then Suni helped me wash. Lilly and Laura took Hope, but they stayed within sight of Suni. Hope never is out of her sight. I wish I had my Kaurs. Stupid thought. And my Singhs.
We washed and washed and washed me. I didn't realise I felt so dirty. They give me French baths every day. But you need to see the filth wash away. It's not the same when they just wipe it off. And really, really washing my hair and putting some conditioner. Then, I think some jasmine oil. I begin to feel a little more like a woman. A widow. The widow of a shaheed. The mother of a shaheed. At least I feel clean. I want to try to stand, but Suni says no, it might rip out my knee. I suppose she's right.
I am clean now my body is clean and my hair. And a big surprise. They had a silk gown made for me. Beautiful blue. Opens like a hospital gown. But soft and nice against my skin. No lace. Nothing scratchy. Just soft, second skin.
Now I am clean. I try to pray. Just the Mool Mantar, I think. But it won't come. It just won't. I try to Jap naam. Vahiguru. Vahiguru. Vahiguru. I can do that. Softly, though. The nihang mouths the gurmantar with me. He looks very serious.
And, at last, the tears come. My body shakes and I sob. They all come to hold me, but I wave them away. I hold myself, then look at the nihang. He leaves his place and walks over to my bed. Suni gasps, but no one else sees him. He looks directly in my eyes, smiles and says something. I don't know what. Neither does Suni. I notice he smells of ...roses, of all things. Then he returns to his place.